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Making connections: my role as a welfare officer
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Making connections: my role as a welfare officer


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  • 1. `
    Making Connections:
    My role as a
    University Welfare Officer
    Julia Coats
    Welfare Officer (International)
  • 2. Job title: Welfare Officer (International)
    What does that actually mean?
    • Primary role as a Welfare Officer but I specialise in areas relating to International Students
    I work within the Student Welfare Service which falls under the UoL Student Support and Development Service (SSDS)
    SSDS is one of 7 divisions within the University of Leicester’s Corporate Services
  • 3. Welfare Officer (International) : Where does my role fit in the University structure?
    UoL Corporate Services
    Academic and Research Services
    Estates Office
    IT Services
    Finance and Business Development
    Human Resources
    Marketing and Communications
    Student Support and Development Service (SSDS)
    Student Development
    AccessAbility Centre
    Health and Wellbeing Services
  • 4. Student Welfare Service (SWS)
    The Student Welfare Service provides these services for all students:
    Practical and personal support
    Response to emergency situations
    Financial advice and information
    Pastoral care for students living in University accommodation
    Community Liaison
    Health Promotion
    Referral for free legal advice
  • 5. Student Welfare Service (SWS)
    In addition the Student Welfare Service offers the following support for
    International Students:
    Immigration advice and visa renewal service
    Cultural adjustment
    Orientation programmes and hospitality schemes
    Family related information and advice
    Guidance on returning home
    Advocacy in some legal cases
  • 6. Student Welfare Service (SWS)
    Advice is provided by trained and qualified Welfare Officers
    Each Welfare Officer also has the responsibility of:
    * Responding to critical incidents and emergencies
    * Being ‘on-call’ during the evenings and over the weekend
    * Usually being the first point of contact for most departments
    if a student needs help or if departmental staff have a specific query
  • 7. Welfare Officer (International) : Where does my role fit in the Student Welfare Service?
    Student Welfare Service
    Head of Department
    Senior Welfare Officer
    Welfare Officer (Finance) x 2
    Welfare Officer (International) x 3
    Welfare Officer (Accommodation) x 1
    Hardship Fund Administrator
    Part-time Accommodation Assistant
    25 Student Assistants
    Visa Renewal officer
    International Administrator
    TULIP Intern
  • 8. Journey from Medical Genetics to Welfare Officer..
  • 9. Began as a student…
    President of the MedBioGen Society
    Treasurer of the Mixed Hockey Club
    Elected Medicine and Biological Science
    Faculty Representative
    Club Captain of the Mixed Hockey Club
    ULSU Sports Executive
    Nightline Volunteer
  • 10. Continued as a Graduate..
    Student’s Union VicePresidentWelfare
    2006- 2007
    Students’ Union
    Vice President Welfare (re-elect)
  • 11. Campaigned on student issues
    Lights, Camera Action!
    Following a number of attacks on students I launched a campaign in 2005 for more lighting and CCTV coverage on Victoria March 2008 the City Council agreed to support the campaign and spent £50,000 on new lights and cameras!
    The campaign has even made it’s way on to Wikipedia!
  • 12. Campaigned on student issues
    Worked with Mental Health advisers
    promoting mental health wellbeing
    Ran Healthy Living campaigns
    Worked with Leicestershire Aids Support
    Services (LASS) and NHS Chlamydia Screening
    Team promoting sexual health awareness
  • 13. Campaigned on student issues
    Worked towards Fairtrade status
    for the University and the SU
    Worked with City Council, introduction of
    Accreditation schemes for student houses
  • 14. Career in Welfare continued..
    …after Sabbatical
    Senior Student Assistant within Student Welfare Service.
    Assisted with organising the International Students’ Welcome Programme for over 1500 new international students
    …After Senior Student Assistant applied for Welfare Officer vacancy 2008.
  • 15. Qualifications
    Degree essential plus at least 2 years experience of working in a similar role (International Students in Higher in Education)
    Further qualifications:
    University of Nottingham School of Education:
    Certificate for International Education Professionals (CIEP)
    Can take up to 3 years, I completed in 1.5 years
    • Advisory role/boundaries
    • 16. Immigration legislation
    • 17. Fee Status
    • 18. Cultural awareness
    • 19. Mental health awareness
    • 20. Recruitment + Marketing
    • 21. Hardship, funding, managing money
    • 22. Annual training conference
    Open College Network ‘Mediation in the workplace’ certificate
    Qualified mediator
  • 23. Skills needed
    Interpersonal skills/ability to empathise
    Ability to work independently and as part of a team
    Good communicator
    Good organisational skills
    Prioritise heavy workloads
    Work flexibility important (long days!)
  • 24. Good days
    Job satisfaction
    Very rewarding role
    Meet new people almost every day
    No two days are the same
    Occasional study visits..
    Singapore and Taiwan in January 2011
    Expect the unexpected!
  • 25. Bad days
    Some very long days
    Heavy caseload
    Some distressing cases
    Keeping up with legislation changes!
  • 26. Still interested?
    Work in an area that you are genuinely interested in
    Gain work experience (unpaid and paid experience)
    Talk to people in a similar role – ways in (feel free to contact the SWS and speak to any of the officers)
    Useful websites for job vacancies:
    Institutional job vacancy pages (Colleges, Universities, private education providers) (Education)
  • 27. Thank you
    You can ask me questions now
    or in the tea break